Trade is providing a silver lining for both the United States and Latin America amidst the global credit crisis.
BY CHRONICLE STAFF
Trade may be the silver lining for both the U.S. economy and Latin America. U.S. exports to Latin America grew by 22.2 percent during the first seven months this year, reaching a total of $157.5 billion, according to a Latin Business Chronicle analysis of data from the US Census Bureau. Latin American exports to the United States increased by 18.1 percent to $217.0 billion. All in all, U.S.-Latin America trade posted a 19.8 percent growth in the January-July period, reaching a total of $374.5 billion.
"In the year to date, exports have generated all of U.S. economic growth," says John G. Murphy, vice president for international affairs at the United States Chamber of Commerce. He is speaking about total U.S. exports worldwide, not just to Latin America. "This astonishing reality is beginning to sink in with America’s political leaders, despite the bitter debate over trade during the primary election campaign. By no means should trade be the whipping boy of American politics; rather, it’s the little boy with his finger in the dike, protecting the U.S. economy from the floodwaters of recession."
A $42 BILLION STIMULUS - FOR FREE
And if Congress approves pending free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama and South Korea, it would boost U.S. exports by more than $42 billion within five years, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Thus, approving the agreements would amount to a major stimulus package "that is almost free," Murphy points out.
Free trade agreements with other countries in Latin America have already boosted U.S. exports significantly. U.S. exports to Chile have almost...
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